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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Flawed Interpretation

Made mention of this elsewhere and recognize this may well present a great possibility of misunderstanding. Still I hope somehow the point is not lost ...

On the way home from work I periodically listen to a program that is the equivalent of a Christian talk show. A discussion topic is forwarded and callers are welcomed to respond. Have been hearing this for years and it seems without fail someone will preempt their comments with;

[i]"Everybody interrupts the scriptures differently"[/i]

On the face of it there is no denying this fact but I find myself expressing out loud that this ought not to be so. The problem is this settled idea that we can then sit down into this comfort, accept it and basically just give up on the whole idea of finding a [i]true[/i] interpretation as if it was so elusive, so completely shrouded in mystery (of course that element), so impossible that no effort is required beyond what "fit's" or finds an easy acceptability to our fallen, frail and fractured carnal minds.

It is an anti-Berean mindset that certainly must be influenced by the very devil himself. Who else was ever so skilled in manipulating scriptures, appealing to them out of context and had so great an audacity to attempt to 'outwit' even the Lord Himself? That Christians would align themselves with the prerogative of the devil even unwittingly is beyond even the worst of my imagination, can't tell whether to cry a mountain of tears or to scream it from the house tops ... This is a lie from the pit of hell!

Look at what this mindset has created. Camps and divisions. "Denominations" and I will honestly confess I have flip flopped on this countless times, at the moment, Ravenhill's equating them as "Abominations" more fitting. These constructs ultimately in the greater part amount to nothing more than settling on a parsed attribute or set of 'like-minded' sectioning of that which is not sectional at all. It is a whole;

Num 22:18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Jer 23:36 [b]And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God[/b].

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by [u]every word[/u] that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Excerpts, scripture verses. The Lord Himself appealing to His own Word. Whole discourses are possible just from this sampling and of course ... [i]our interpretation[/i] even this fools opinion's and if I am saying anything at all they are worthless, errant and in need of adjustment, rebuke, correction ... anything than to be left to a carnal minds interpretation.

Iron sharpens iron yet it becomes something of a catch phrase rather than a Holy desire to know and understand what was [i]meant[/i]! We will sooner settle down under one or a number of fallen mans notions as [i]fact[/i] and do the unbelievable by granting ourselves titles and labels ...

"I hold to _____"
"I am a _____"

No! You are not a Calvinist or a Baptist or a helpless follower of a lone construct, a member of The 500th Regiment of The First Church of Jesus Christ Presbyterian Apostolic Wesleyan Edwards Finney. No! No! No!

Obviously, I am a bit besides myself here so pardon the exuberance and even overexertion to stress the point, it is on purpose...

But saints, look and observe closely just what is presented here on SermonIndex. "One" lone construct or notion? See how difficult this is ... Seems I am speaking out of both sides of my mouth here. Is there really any interest in forcing anyone into a particular 'out take' if you will? Are we yet manipulators? It is laughable in the right sense to hear an idea of this place being either 'Charismatic' or anti-this, that or the other, whatever the label. The great pains taken to promote nothing on the one hand and everything that pertains to true holiness (What a mangled mess has been made of this great attribute) and longing for that which only God can do and that is [i][b]Revival[/b].[/i] What might become of so much jostling for position in 'doctrine' in a state of revival? Seems the past outpourings have always settled the matter quite sufficently until spiritual men are soon drawn back off their moorings into a complacent reactionary appealing to their own minds and the whole thing just breaks down and the fleshly matter takes over again. We are desperately in need of Revival and a humbling into silence, that true leveling of where man stands before His God.

Is any of us stupid enough to not recognize the sheer hypocrisy evident of speaking beyond our understanding, appealing only to that we hold as dear without being challenged and far more importantly, to relinquish these things when proven faulty? That is a dangerous statement I full well know and likely botched to the nth degree. To put it plainly, do we really wish to hold [i]our own interpretations[/i], those of others despite these lingering doubts that must be subdued to save face or that diabolical lie that it might cause us some 'embarrassment'? Will we continue to lie to our ourselves when we know that we [i]don't[/i] know many things, give prescribed answers to things we don't even fully comprehend?

Are we yet teachable? [i]Willing[/i] to stand corrected? Do we welcome it? [i]Desire[/i] it? Have a Holy [i]must[/i] to ...

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

That [i]anything[/i] and [i]everything[/i] short of this is ... [i]useless[/i]! Oh, this is very difficult to couch in the right stringing of words together. What am I trying to say?


Keep finding far too many instances where we as Christians are doing the exact [i]opposite[/i] of what we have been instructed, [i]commanded[/i] even. We turn the great life giving truths inside out and upside down. We will argue forever and a day about injustice to our poor psyches and not do what Jesus did. [i]Suffer[/i]! (A whole other discourse on this as if that means a great deal ...) And we certainly will not accept suffering misunderstanding without having to right ourselves with endless defenses. "Go two miles" and we want to argue about it, craft some kind of over exaggerated, mathematical scientific investigation about it, torque it into some pragmatic, humanistic construct, reason whether that is what He meant or if applies to "our day" ... It is incredulous the things that are of a simple understanding made null by our carnal minds and their heightened sense of importance.

"Bless those who persecute you" and we scream "Rights!" "Justice!"

Luk 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Luk 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Luk 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Luk 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
Luk 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

Right on through ... the exact opposite. For some diabolical reason we largely will not accept the great paradox that act's completely against the worlds way of doing things. We will not "[i][b]have this Man to rule over us[/b][/i]" is what it often amounts to. We really do not believe what He said and [i]accept[/i] it whether we like it or not and that is the last, no, it should not even be a consideration whatsoever.

We ought not be surprised at the apostasy that has infiltrated the church when by and large what may be said of us is perfectly stated in;

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Is made opposite and the inclination is;

Jdg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Is there no King in Israel? Has He not come? And yet ...

The things we will grind into oblivion. Things not emphatically stated nor inferred we [i]must[/i] dissect as some great puzzle to figure out. Election and predestination, what is 'imputed' or 'imparted', where the location of the 'will' is as if it was some organ that could be transplanted. All these man made doctrines and arguments that even the inspired writers never had controversy about, why us? Why, I ask, do we care so much about these things? Not that they are not worth discussing in the right comparing with scripture to only [i]see if [u]it be so[/u][/i] but the weight of importance given them, the rationale that allows for [i]doctrine[/i] to be made of them, "holdings" I would couch it, better [i]clutching[/i], as it seems to pry the fingers off of them is to take the babies rattle ...

Higher learning (or is it 'higher criticism'?) is either a curse or a blessing depending on just one thing; Men's knowledge and the feeding of his insatiable pride or a great diligence to get at the heart of the matter, what [b]He[/b] meant and the love of knowing that no matter what the expense, no matter what must be set down, no matter what the cost, seeming embarrassment or humility ...

How slow and how infrequent is the voice heard that has reconsidered? Changed their mind, allowed an intrusion to upset preconceived notions to come forth? It is rare indeed. Nothing can be held in abeyance any longer and some sinister idea that we must have an explanation for everything has taken it's place.

Creation as example. We don't know anything beyond what is stated ([b][i]Written![/i][/b]) and that which is observable so rather than being honest and saying "We don't know" we hypothesize and speculate and theorize and make [i]that[/i] fact and 'truth', we hold to it. Such nonsense!

Who and how the God of that creation saves a soul, we think it is really [i]ourselves[/i] that do this but hardly will admit it. Why else would [i]we[/i] be 'leading someone in the sinners prayer'? What 'sinners prayer'? There is no such thing in scripture that can be appealed to without being really super clever about it. So because it has become common it is just accepted as gospel. Bring a challenge to it and the voices start having a conniption. Lead a soul to the Lord and let the sinner do his own praying. And for crying out loud get yourself clear out of the way in the matter.

There is a hundred and one examples that could be made of where we err and err greatly. I certainly hope the last thing anyone does is ever accept even these ramblings as 'my interpretation', my notions, my opinion, my anything. I couldn't care less about what is thought of the fool in this regard nor is that this other bizzare notion that holds to not caring what their Brethren think as a rebellion against them... It is all rather besides the point. To repeat what our own Philologos mentioned long ago, don't you dare take my word for it, test it in light of the scriptures. That is the bottom line.

We certainly need to dispel one great faulty notion about those more learned than ourselves, those that are true and proven by their character, which is [i]love[/i], real love of the Lord and His people, and that is this idea of being "Know it all's" or self-righetous. We far too often have too much suspicion and accusation about each other, about the Brethren and that always leads to strife and contention and evil imaginations. There is a true higher learning that is expensed by those given to apply themselves to years of study, who can dig down deep into the roots of matters, can give us all an education in the the things of God, who understand the nuances and finite meanings of the Greek and Hebrew word tense and we ought not to cast everything out the window because it unsettles our preconceived notions. Though it is rare, have seen even these self-sacrificing saints reverse course by being willing to just reconsider. And to boot, their hard wrought knowledge is given out freely to be fed on by the underlings. Us.

This is more than a mouthful and feel I have still left a great deal unsaid, even again mangled the very expression that is crying to get out. It will be misinterpreted on it's own and am quite sure it is in err in places as well. But we ought not fear applying ourselves to instruction nor have suspicious minds about comparing scripture with scripture, iron sharpening iron, nor appealing to the WHOLE council of Gods Word. This idea that there is everybody's interpretation as a settled matter is just wrong and if we give up on this line or approach it as somehow forever elusive that we can "agree to disagree" ... To be honest heard that elsewhere, that this was a faulty concept and at first it struck me sideways, as a matter of fact and maybe it planted the first seeds of this whole thing. They where disagreeing with the statement itself! And I was thinking the whole thing was just kind of silly, even a waste of time. But as it also applies here, is this not again just a settling down rather than a fighting (spiritually) to get to the kernel of truth?

Thought I was finished here but something else...

Belief. Unbelief. Do we not see how many things create unbelief by an over-examination? Would appeal again to the signature quote at the bottom here. Is this not so? Too much applied fleshly rationale and explanation that scorches what is [i]faith[/i] by way of 'reason'. Cannot but help seeing that word again coming into view; Opposite. I think Christendom has managed to theorize everything to death and I do mean [i]death[/i]. Death of believing that which defies our logic and rationale. We take the rather simple and difficult, because we are so slow to believe, and make it an exercise of applied science or psychology of the mind, or a program, a how to or some long drawn out 'schooling' that renders it ... useless. It is watered down to the point of no recognition nor effect. Both ways, by compromise and by exaggeration.

We as Christians are peculiar because we do in fact believe what is ridiculous to a natural mind. Think it was Fenelon who said that prayer was on the level of stupidity ... actually no, was thinking of Forsyth;

[i]Erasmus is always shocked with Luther. It is only an outlet of that
essential extravagance which makes the paradox of the Cross, and keeps it as
the irritant, no less than the life of the world--perhaps because it is the
life of the world. There is nothing so abnormal, so unworldly, so
supernatural, in human life as prayer, nothing that is more of an instinct,
it is true, but also nothing that is less rational among all the things that
keep above the level of the silly. The whole Christian life in so far as it
is lived from the Cross and by the Cross is rationally an extravagance. For
the Cross is the paradox of all things; and the action of the Spirit is the
greatest miracle in the world; and yet it is the principle of the world.
Paradox is but the expression of that dualism which is the moral foundation
of a Christian world. I live who die daily. I live another's life.[/i]

When it comes right down to it, we believe some rather fantastical things, that is if we are still in the business of believing Him.

Still yet foolish enough to believe that the Lord is still after this one thing;

1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Just guttural expression saints. There has been a great deal of charity and cooperative spirit in recent days and be it far from me to stir up something unnecessarily. Take it as it is, great sweeping generalities, just felt compelled to get it off my chest.

Mike Balog

 2007/3/31 14:47Profile

 Re: Flawed Interpretation

Dear Bro Mike

This is such a long message that I couldn''t take it all in for now!

Hoever, I think I got enough for a couple of comments.

The Bible is the written Word from which issues the LIVING WORD of God. It is much more than the words on the page.

Think of a living person. You recognise him by certain features, the way he walks, the way he talks, his height, the colour of hair or eyes, the size of his nose, the shape of his ears etc etc.

Yet that same person can appear different every moment. He shows anger, weariness, surprise, joy, compassion, sorrow, love in his face. His expression and manner are constantly changing, yet he is the same person.

A photographer comes and takes some pictures of him, at different times, in different moods, wearing different clothes, doing different things. He puts copies of the the pictures in a book, and allows people to examine and even take away with them, any of the pictures they want.

Most people take only a few different pictures, maybe the ones that appeal to them, or a picture given them by someone else. They see his angry face, or his happy face or his sorrowful face, or the picture of him gardening or at a wedding, or working in his office. Almost no-one takes a selection of different pictures, to try and get a full understanding of what the man is really like.

Others secretly try to add pictures of someone else to the book , or even make their own book, claiming that this is the same man who is in the original book. Some poeple take some of those pictures too, believing they really are of him.

The people who have different kinds of pictures start arguing about what this man is really like, what he does etc. Some insist that the one picture they possess is the [i]only[/i] true picture of him, and that all the others are forgeries.

Others insist the counterfeit pictures are the true ones, and that [i]they[/i] are the only people who really know this man. Others say they are not true pictures because they have met the man and he's nothing like that.

Some of them really have met this man, or are even friends of his, but there are so many different voices saying different things that really only those who have met the man and know him best, who become his friends, really know something of what he's like.

And even those don't understand all aspects of his character.

Love in the true Man


 2007/3/31 16:59

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7504

 Re: Flawed Interpretation

I found this site saved on my favorites and was reading it for the first time...I do not know where I found it but the writer expresses similar sentiments that you have expressed here. (As of the moment I have not read it in its entirety. And pardon me if after reading it all, I find some serious disagreements!) Yes, I was reading it and when I came here and read your article, I thought it was interesting that two different writers were writing about similar concerns.
The site:

Your concerns are valid, IMHO. I am not old, according to my opinion:-o, but I am seeing a growing number of my age group rationalizing Biblical directives they have held in the past and are now questioning them. I am appalled! If the old[er] people are not stalwarts for truth, who can the young even look up to be role models for them! They are saying things like, "Well, you know this is what the [young] are saying and I guess ...." and so they gradually are capitulating to the prevailing winds that are sure to blow them away.

This verse has been coursing around in my mind as of late, has been challenging me and wonder where it will all lead to: Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.hhhhmmmm.

Mike, you left a lot of food for thought...will need to read it more. But your concern for the absoluteness of truth cannot ever be over exaggerated because there is an eternity up ahead. This is serious and once we are there, there is no turning back. This alone should strike some holy fear within our hearts.


Sandra Miller

 2007/3/31 17:53Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: One interpretation


Ah! [i]That word[/i] ... incredible, I am unsure what it is but quite often the intimations are just solitary words, this has been percolating for a number of days now.
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.hhhhmmmm.

Yes ... The heart truths, the slighting of the most important elements. Another that as been coming up more and more frequently;

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

And leads off to;

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

And ...

Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

You do have me curious now, will have to read the link.


Liked your illustrations and think you may be forwarding more of the same ... this does explain much, but what I am asking or rebuttal-ing against is that this is acceptable. It may be the way it is, but it is the very settling for it that I am opposed to. What we have is lopsided disciples because of it.

Mike Balog

 2007/3/31 18:19Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Frustrated expression

Sister ... This is my kind of mad man! :-)

Am barely through the preface and coulnd't resist...

[i]It was and still is only in Him that I receive the joy and peace and love that sustains me in this perverse generation. Realizing that this generation includes me, it is all the more amazing that He forgives me even when I fail Him again and again. This is something socio-psychologists will never be able to accept, because my salvation does not lie in the gray zone of human reasoning, where facts become ambiguous, feelings become ambivolent, and justification becomes automatic. My salvation does not reside in "higher-order thinking skills" or in "cosmic oneness," but in the "practical" words "It is written." and "It is Finished!" and the one who declared it so almost 2,000 years ago. He has given me His rest, not the cognitive dissonance, chaotic, coping, conflict-management stress promoted by socio-psychologists today.[/i]

[i] The following information is not about God's armor per se, but about the scheme by which the great deceiver plans to remove our awareness of its availability and power. To my dismay, many Christians are participating in armor removal for the sake of world harmony[/i]

Some restraint to not just post it all ... Really looking forward to this.

Mike Balog

 2007/3/31 18:34Profile

Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Flawed Interpretation

It is an anti-Berean mindset that certainly must be influenced by the very devil himself.

Amen brother!

Keep finding far too many instances where we as Christians are doing the exact opposite of what we have been instructed, commanded even.

Is this new? I get discouraged at times then I remember that a wiser man than I said..."there is nothing new under the sun"

I'm a missionary. I have been sent to one of the most un-Godly places on Earth... American Christian University.

I see what you are talking about everyday...I cry alot.

This is one of my favorite quotes:

"I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I'd ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, 'I'm awfully sorry, you don't bring any references with you'" - A. W. Tozer

God bless you brother.


 2007/3/31 18:42Profile



crsschk wrote:


Liked your illustrations and think you may be forwarding more of the same ... this does explain much, but what I am asking or rebuttal-ing against is that this is acceptable. It may be the way it is, but it is the very settling for it that I am opposed to. What we have is lopsided disciples because of it.

The only answer seems to me to get to know the Man, more and more, in all aspects of His character. Not as we think He is, or as we would like to think He is, but as He really is.

Also to seek to hold all Bible truths in balance. Even if they seem paradoxical or contradictory. If its the Word of God it must be true. Predestination vs Free Will is a classic example. Both are true.

Isaiah 55:8 [i][color=000099]“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.[/color][/i]

You quoted 1Co 2:13 [i][color=000099]“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. [/color][/i]

Indeed the whole of that Corinthians passage is relevant

In Him


 2007/3/31 18:45

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


Hi everyone.


"They are saying things like, "Well, you know this is what the [young] are saying and I guess ...." and so they gradually are capitulating to the prevailing winds that are sure to blow them away."

[b][color=000000] And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.[/color][/b]

[i]...the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.[/i]

-Isaiah 3:4-5

"Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord." -Leviticus 19:32

Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2007/3/31 23:34Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: "Because I said so"

I'm a missionary. I have been sent to one of the most un-Godly places on Earth... American Christian University.

Cannot even respond appropriately to this brother but after reading through about half of the link ginnyrose provided think I can partially grasp just how bad it might be. Could well understand the tears ...

[i]In dialogue all one can do is deviate from an original position. This is why Jesus did not dialogue with Satan when tempted by him in the wilderness. Instead He held to His position by quoting "First Cause," the scriptures (position sub-phase), with "It is written..." and did not respond with "I think..." or "I feel..." (definition sub-phase), Matthew 4:1-11.[/i]

[i] Therefore, if we believe that God's Word is true, all we can do is give His definition. We thereby give Him control over our life. If we deviate from it, we give the process of compromise (diaprax—Satan's scheme) control over us. I speak in regards to values, beliefs, and morals, which is what this process concerns itself with.

We never truly control the definitions, we simply submit to the one who gives them to us. Because we are talking about structure of thought and not laws of nature, that source can only come from the Creator or from our human nature (higher-order thinking, compromise, or self-justification), which is cosmic bound and subject to the spirit of rebellion—Satan.[/i]

A great deal of this is somewhat 'heady' from what I may be accustomed to or would generally find myself reading, a bit of a challenge to grasp on the particular phraseology he uses. But that didn't stop me from grasping the point and his breaking this whole process down is very interesting if not down right grevious. Whatever the intended motivation of these propigators of this ... phenomenon, seems it is both agenda and a being caught up in the wake of the efforts, not difficult to see the effects that are produced. That it has influenced the church is surely evident ... it is as if he is dismantling the whole thing to show how it works.

It dawned on me somewhere along the line why the preface grabbed my heart maybe more than anything. Recognized that a preface can actually be a summary conclusion as it seems most are written after all the work is finished. No wonder this expression;

[i]This is a hurried project, not only because the time to respond appears to be running out, but also because I personally have had enough of it and at times desparately want out. "Get a life!" often crosses my mind. It appears that the pilgrims were the ones with that opportunity. I don't think there is any place to run from this process these days. My refuge is a true and sure one, though. Despite my outward complaining, God has always proven Himself faithful. Something I cannot say in regard to myself or my fellow man.[/i]

Mike Balog

 2007/4/1 0:35Profile

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


Brother Mike, Proverbs 26:4-5 seems to be much appropriate for our day and some of the outakes you qouted made me think of it.

[i]Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.[/i]

Aligning with...

because...[i]it is written[/i].

Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2007/4/1 1:02Profile

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